ZiiLabs unveils their 100-core ZMS-40 processor for Android 4.0

It seems just yesterday we were captivated by the dual-core processors within Android smartphones, yet this bit of news makes them less appealing. What’s better than 2 cores? Not 4, but 100! href=”http://www.ziilabs.com/” rel=”homepage” target=”_blank” title=”ZiiLABS”>ZiiLabs has managed to incorporate 96 “StemCell Media Processing” cores to work alongside the four ARM Cortex A9 cores.

I myself have no idea what to expect from real world use of the technology, but processing and acceleration benchmarks are probably outstanding. The ARM Cortex A9 CPU’s are clocked at 1.5GHz, and they are said to drastically reduce power consumption thus improving battery life for extended use. The chip was made with Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) in mind, so maybe we’ll end up seeing it within some devices next week at CES.
We should see some great performance from the ZMS-40, and ZiiLabs claims we should see “twice the peak media performance”. It even supports 2560×1600 (WQXGA) display resolution, so tablets will not only perform better, but viewable clearer too. For full specifications on the ZMS-40, check out the press release below:

ZiiLABS Unveils 100-Core ZMS-40 Processor: Double the Performance, Half the Power Consumption
Quad-Core ARM Cortex-A9 and 96 StemCell Media Processing Cores Enhance Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) Performance and Battery Life
Singapore – ZiiLABS, a pioneering media processor and platforms company (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Creative Technology Ltd), today unveiled its ground-breaking 100-core ZMS-40 StemCell Media processor optimized for Android. The ZMS-40 combines 96 of ZiiLABS’ StemCell media processing cores with four 1.5GHz ARM Cortex-A9 CPUs to deliver stunning multi-tasking application and media processing performance.
By doubling the number of StemCell Media processors compared to the previous ZMS-20, the ZMS-40 delivers twice the peak media performance, while running the larger array at lower clock speeds to achieve the same performance leads to greater energy efficiency and a reduction in power consumption of up to 50 percent. With 2X the performance and 2X the power efficiency, the ZMS-40 delivers ground-breaking media capabilities to handheld devices such as tablets, including ultra-high-resolution H.264 HP decoding of up to 3840×1080 for true 1080p 3D stereo, a rich and interactive desktop browsing experience, 2560×1600 (WQXGA) display resolution support, higher-quality video encoding and immersive OpenGL ES graphics and future support for High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC).
The up-and-coming HEVC standard (also known as H.265), besides other qualitative benefits, can also increase data compression ratio by up to 2X as compared to H.264. These technology wizardries are achieved by requiring many more times the computational complexity. HEVC claims to target the next generation Hi-Def TV market which can support scalable resolutions from 320×240 to 1080p with improved picture quality in terms of noise level, color and dynamic range, and all the way up to an incredible resolution of 7680×4320. Being fully programmable and with their massive parallelism, the 96 cores of StemCell Media processors can easily handle the onerous computational requirements of this new CODEC and support higher resolutions that are beyond today’s display systems.
The latest ZiiLABS MandelMark data highlights how the increase in size of the StemCell array can result in a 2X increase in performance or a 50% reduction in power consumption. MandelMark is ZiiLABS’ href=”http://www.khronos.org/opengles/” rel=”homepage” target=”_blank” title=”OpenGL ES”>OpenGL ES 2.0 shader implementation of the Mandelbrot algorithm and is designed to test the computing performance of modern GPUs. Additional information on MandelMark can be found at: www.ziilabs.com/mandelmark
The ZMS-40 supports ZiiLABS’ enhanced Android 4.0 implementation that complements the standard Android offering with a rich suite of software to exploit the massive computing power of the ZMS processor and includes support for:
ZiiPhoto for intelligent photo browsing, 3D slide show and special photo effects,
ZiiCamera for real-time preview and capturing of photos with 3D effects; live ultra high resolution 40 megapixel Panoramic photo capture in one sweep; and high dynamic range images,
ZiiVideo for advanced video playback including 1080p href=”http://www.webmproject.org/” rel=”homepage” target=”_blank” title=”WebM”>WebM (VP8) support and trick modes (such as reverse play, frame-by-frame advance and reverse, multi-speed play and more), and skip to any part of a movie by browsing a timeline with thumbnails,
Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi’s Crystalizer and CMSS-3D audio effects.
ZiiLABS’ enhanced Android supports not just cloning of the device display onto a TV but also APIs to enable dual independent displays, where the TV is showing a different screen from the device. For example, a user could be browsing the web for information while watching an HD video on the TV all at the same time. This usage model has a tremendous range of applications, and is only made possible due to the power of the ZMS-40.
“The ZMS-40 continues our strategy to deliver ground breaking processors, hardware platforms and software solutions that enable our partners to differentiate and win market share in the Android tablet space,” said Hock Leow, President of ZiiLABS. “Our customers demand innovation and ready-for-market solutions and with ZMS-40, JAGUAR and the latest Android software we continue to deliver phenomenal performance, features and value.”
“We are already working through the draft specifications of High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) and expect the flexibility and performance of the ZMS-40 to meet the challenging computation complexity of this emerging CODEC in order to deliver higher-quality and lower bandwidth.” said Tim Lewis, Director of Marketing at ZiiLABS.
“The tablet market for China is going to explode, especially with China’s recent emphasis on digital textbooks, digital school bags and digital classrooms for all of its students. We have gained tremendous momentum by working with various partners in this vertical segment of the market alone during the past year,” said Sim Wong Hoo, Chairman and CEO of href=”http://www.creative.com/” rel=”homepage” target=”_blank” title=”Creative Technology”>Creative Technology Ltd. “The ZMS-40 further allows us to design and develop a breath-taking 4th generation Android tablet aimed squarely at the Chinese market. Leveraging on the vast Chinese computing technologies and educational content expertise we have mustered over the decades, we have developed a beautiful, ultra-slim, ultralight Chinese tablet with Chinese characteristics and unprecedented performance based on the ZMS-40 and Android 4.0 with our very own Chinese platform.”
“We are now forging ahead to form a Chinese Tablet Alliance with several major Chinese partners both in the horizontal and vertical market segments to further develop, build and market this timely tablet, ” added Sim. “Details of this Chinese tablet and the alliance will be unveiled soon.”
Android 4.0 (ICS) tablets and associated design-kits based on the ZMS-40 will be showcased at the ZiiLABS suite (Venetian) in Las Vegas between 10 – 13 Jan at the CES 2012 tradeshow.
ZMS-40 Differentiating Features
Quad 1.5 GHz ARM Cortex-A9 MP Cores
96x fully-programmable StemCell Media Processing cores
58 GFlops StemCell compute power
Wide range of accelerated video codecs including HEVC, H.264, VC1 and WebM (VP8)
True 1920x1080p 3D stereo playback (3840×1080)
Double the CPU performance for enhanced multi-tasking
Double the Graphics and Media performance i
Half the power consumption for longer battery life ii
Support for ZiiLABS enhanced Android 4.0 implementation
2560×1600 (WQXGA) resolution support for next-generation LCDs and Displays
ZMS-40 Key Features
High-Definition, low-latency video conferencing
Optimised OpenGL ES 2.0 for robust 3D graphics acceleration
Accelerated OpenCL 1.1 (desktop profile) integrated into Android NDK
High Dynamic Range (HDR) Image Processing
High-quality Text-to-Speech and Voice Recognition
Integrated HDMI 1.4 with 3D stereo support
2GB addressable memory
DDR2/3 at 533 MHz for low-cost
LPDDR2 for maximum memory bandwidth and low-power
64-bit wide memory bus
Quad independent video controllers supporting 24-bit displays and cameras
3V3 and 1V8 I/O’s reduce peripheral power consumption
Dual USB 2.0 HS OTG (Host/Peripheral) controllers with PHY for low system cost
Three independent SDIO/MMC controllers
Extended battery life with robust Dynamic Power Management and Instantaneous On
Enhanced Security: 256-bit AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) and TrustZone
Availability and Specifications
The ZiiLABS ZMS-40 is sampling to select customers based on the JAGUAR tablets running Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich).
About ZiiLABS
ZiiLABS is a leader in media-rich application processors, hardware platforms and advanced middleware. Its products enable OEMs, ODMs, System Integrators and Software Developers to deliver industry-leading devices across a broad range of consumer electronics and embedded markets. Originally founded in 1994 as 3DLABS, the company re-branded and joined with the Personal Digital Entertainment group of Creative Technology to form ZiiLABS in January 2009. ZiiLABS has invested US$1 billion and 10,000 man-years in media processing solutions and has offices in the UK, China, USA and Singapore. Learn more about ZiiLABS at: www.ziilabs.com
About Creative
Creative is a worldwide leader in digital entertainment products. Famous for its Sound Blaster® sound cards and for launching the multimedia revolution, Creative is now driving digital entertainment on the PC platform with products like its highly acclaimed ZEN® MP3 and portable media players. Creative’s innovative hardware, proprietary technology, applications and services leverage the Internet, enabling consumers to experience highquality digital entertainment – anytime, anywhere.
ZiiLABS, StemCell Computing and Xtreme Fidelity are trademarks or registered trademarks of Creative Technology Ltd. Android is a trademark of Google Inc. ARM, Cortex, Neon and TrustZone are trademarks or registered trademarks of ARM Limited. OpenGL ES is a registered trademark of Silicon Graphics Inc. Adobe and Flash are registered trademarks of Adobe Systems Inc.

[via Engadget]

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